Atsuko Okatsuka: “The Intruder,” at Edinburgh Fringe 2022

**** (out of 5)

Don’t let the bowl cut fool you.

Atsuko Okatsuka doesn’t think of herself as cool, and definitely not cool under pressure. A simple query from a teen-ager can make her crumble. So how could she ever hope to cope if there were an actual intruder in her life. And there is one at the heart of this show, an unknown man lurking in the backyard, in the driveway, and on street outside the home Okatsuka shares with her husband on the top of a small hill in Los Angeles.

If all you’ve seen or heard of Okatsuka has come from her viral TikTok “drop” challenge, then you’re in for a treat.

Because it’s difficult not to want to root for her, even when there’s not a strange man looking to bust into her home. Okatsuka amiably walks us through that potentially dangerous situation, as well past the minefields laid down for her by having a mother diagnosed with schizophrenia, and a grandmother who raised her via mind-tricks. Sometimes it’s all too much for Atsuko, who just wants to let it all go in a Sephora. Sometimes all it takes is a trip to Magic Mike Live.

She’s already sold this hour to HBO, which she’ll film at a later date after the Fringe. So you might want to catch her now so you can say you saw her when. When meaning now.

Atsuko Okatsuka: The Intruder runs through Aug. 29, 2022, at Pleasance Courtyard (Bunker Three).

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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